Why Christians Are Not Bound To Keep The Sabbath
“Then He told them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.'” – Mark 2:27-28
Good morning, good people! Thanks for staying around and supporting my blog. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all the love you throw my way. Much love back to you.
I’ve been giving some thought to a few things that I’d like to share, but not all in one post. I know I can be long-winded, so I won’t pack it all in one sitting. One thing I’ve given some thought to is the whole podcasting idea. Since I have so many subscribers who want to hear my thoughts (sarcasm alert: there are only about two handfuls of you actually following…but, don’t tell anybody :)), sparing no costs, I figure why not give them to you willingly in audio form, as I choose. Plus, I think people have more time to listen than they make to read. But, it’s just a thought. I don’t have much info yet on how to start or run a podcast, but I’ll be sure to let you know if and when I do.
Now, to the meat of things (or veggies, if you prefer)…When it comes to when we worship and what days we observe religiously, there are some religious groups that argue that Christians should keep the Sabbath. As you’ll note by the end of our discussion here, that is not what Scripture teaches.
I’ve had some good friends who are Seventh Day Adventists, and I’ve had Bible studies with a few other people who were, as well. The main contention that Seventh Day Adventists and others who are self-professed Sabbath-keeping Christians have is that remembering the Sabbath was part of the 10 Commandments and we still have to keep all the other 9 of the commandments. They argue that there are two parts to the law given by Moses – ceremonial and moral – and that Christ nailed the ceremonial law to the cross, not the moral law. Well, the New Testament does not make that distinction.
Christ did away with the law of Moses, “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Col. 2:14). Nobody can be justified (or, made right with God) by the law (Rom. 3:20). The law is what shows people they are in sin and leads us to Christ (Gal. 3:19, 24).
“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” – Romans 7:23
Christians are dead to the law of Moses. We follow the law of Christ. Well, what did the law include? Some say it wasn’t the 10 Commandments but the commandments about sacrifices, offerings, and the like. However, notice what James says: “For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” (James 2:13). The law that said not to commit murder or adultery is the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20: 13-14). The law was also the other instructions given by Moses to the children of Israel (1 Co. 9:9). That’s the law that we are dead to keeping.
“You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” – Galatians 5:4
We are free from the old law. So, Christians are not obligated to keep the Sabbath. In fact, the Bible is clear that if you seek to keep one part of the law, then you have to keep it all (Rom. 2:23; Gal. 3:10). I don’t think any of today’s Sabbath keepers are also slaughtering bulls, calves, and goats for blood offerings and sacrifices to God. Why try to pull out one part to keep and not keep it all? Anyone who tries to be justified in following the law has fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4).
Moreover, Paul explicitly states to the Colossian church that nobody should try to make others follow the sabbaths, festival days, or the eating of certain foods (Col. 2:16). We shouldn’t subject ourselves to regulations that Christ hasn’t. Paul says that that’s the stuff of self-imposed religion and has no real value (Col. 2:20-23).
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” – Colossians 2:16-17
The sabbath that God instituted was for rest from works (Heb. 4:4). There remains a rest for God’s people – the rest from sins that Christ offers (Heb 4:8-11). We are free from the law and don’t have to follow the 10 Commandments.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” -Ephesians 2:14-16
But, you may say that it’s still a sin to murder, to have idols before God, and to steal. Yes, that is true. We do not do those things, as Christians, because Christ instructed us not to do them. Christ repeated all the 10 Commandments (except for the 4th one: remember the Sabbath), in the New Testament, for us to follow, in some way or another. So, since we are under His will and testament, we do not steal, murder, covet, or do any of the other things that Christ has commanded us not to do. Refer to the chart below to see where all of the commandments that were given to Moses at Mount Sinai are repeated in the New Testament, with the exception of Sabbath-keeping (that’s why that section is blank).
“On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.” – Acts 20:7
Christians worship on the first day of the week, which is Sunday, as the church of the New Testament did (Acts 20:7). Are you still seeking to follow the law? We can only be made right with God through our faith in Christ and not by the law. And faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Belief in Jesus requires us to act on it – to confess His name to others (Matt. 10:32), to repent of sins (Acts 2:38), and to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16).
Thank God that we are not under the law of sin but under His Spirit of grace.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” – 2 Cor. 13:13
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